The United Nations has reiterated the call for “free and fair” elections in Bangladesh as the country is heading for the next national election in a couple of months.
“I think on our viewpoint on Bangladesh and the need for free and fair election, I think we’ve spoken out very clearly,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters in a regular media briefing in New York on November 1
He said they also spoke against harassment or arbitrary arrest or violence during this period.
The government of Bangladesh said the next election will be held either at the end of 2023 or the first week of 2024, and it will be “free, fair, and peaceful” and it does not matter who participates or does not.
“I have said a number of times, the holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone – all political parties, voters, the government, security forces, civil society,” US State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller told reporters in a separate briefing in Washington on November 1.
He said the United States wants what the Bangladeshi people want for themselves – free, fair elections conducted in a peaceful manner.
Responding to a question on Mian Arefy, Miller said, “I do not have any comment on this individual’s actions other than to reiterate what the US embassy says, which is, he does not represent the United States Government.”
Mian Zahidul Islam Arefy, who claimed to be an “adviser to US President Joe Biden,” has told DB officials that he “only followed instructions he received at the BNP office.”